Activist goes through use of force training and sees the light when he shoots an “unarmed man”

Jarrett Maupin has been very vocal during the recent protests, leading marches on the Phoenix Police headquarters after officers shot an unarmed man who reportedly fought with them.

He agreed to go through a force on force training with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and went through three scenarios where you have to decide to shoot, or not to shoot.

via Activist critical of police undergoes use of force scenarios – FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com.

This isn’t meant to be a statement for or against cops. It’s not even really about cops as this is something that is relevant to any use of force encounter, armed or not, cop or not. But in all the recent furor about cops shooting people, the story and experience of Jarrett Maupin is especially relevant. Like so many others, he had an opinion. He “knew” that there was never a legitimate reason for a cop or anyone else to shoot an unarmed person. In response to a recent officer involved shooting, Maupin marched with others demanding the officer’s badge, gun, and job because they felt the shooting was unjustified. Why? Because the victim was unarmed. Maupin and the other protestors just knew that things would be different had they been in the officer’s position or if the man he shot had been white. To his credit, Maupin and Troy Hayden, a journalist with a Fox News affiliate in Phoenix, accepted an invitation to go through a force on force training session with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. It seems that as a result, they have seen the light and have a different perspective.

Among the takeaways here is that both men reacted similarly to the same stimulus. Men of different backgrounds, experiences, and (as much as I’m tired of this dead horse) different races reached the same conclusions. If you paid attention to the video, both shot an “unarmed” man. And for the record, chances are very high, said shooting would be ruled justified by both a police review board and a grand jury in the case of a civilian. Why? Because of the disparity of force (size and numbers of attackers as both men in that scenario started coming toward the “officer”) along with what both reasonably believed was motive, means, and manifested intent to do them harm even without a weapon in hand.

Another significant takeaway is something we talk about routinely…Things can and do go down hill, very quickly. We hear Maupin say these situations develop in 10-15 seconds but, the critical part happens faster than that. The unarmed man scenario goes from Maupin and Hayden asking questions to a shooting in less than 7 seconds for both of them. The guy claiming to be looking for his car goes from someone simply being evasive and non-compliant to Maupin and Hayden getting “shot” faster than either can react to the fact they’ve seen a gun. That’s real. And both are situations that are as relevant to civilians as they are to cops.

Finally, in the after action discussion portion of the video below, we hear Maupin say that he tried to shoot the suspect in the arm so he could subdue him. Folks, this is delusional fantasy that results from people watching too much TV and too many movies. The real world doesn’t work that way. Even an expert level shooter wouldn’t take the risk of missing or worse, wounding someone without actually stopping a deadly threat. The bad guy certainly isn’t going to launch bullets at you just to scare you or just to make it hurt a little bit. In a practical sense, if you’ve got time to make that decision, it can be readily argued you had time to use a non-lethal means. Again, shooting people or shooting at people is ALWAYS considered deadly force even if it is not necessarily your intent to kill them.


-GM